This time I will talk about my own values and how to identify potential targets that match your values. As I wrote in this post, it’s important to identify your own values first, so that you can choose and set yourself correct targets in a meaningful way. Identifying own values was harder than I anticipated! It was easy to list down things you like, but values are actually something that come much more deeper insight you. Person usually has only handful of true values so you should make a difference what is just “nice” and perhaps externally driven versus something fundamental to you that drives you forward on daily basis. One way to define a value is the following:
“Values are guiding principles that helps you make choices on daily basis. They define what is important to you and what is you future direction.”
I think values are also something that change their form during time. I believe some values follow you through your life where as others might change or at least change the priority based on time and situation in life. For example value related to “Work” might be overruled by value “Family” once you get children of your own etc.
After some speculation, I identified myself having six values. Though in this blog I will only focus on the following four as I think they are topics I want to discuss in this blog:
- Well-being, Health & Energy
- Being active & Feeling of Progress
- Work & Success
- Visuality, Harmony & Nature
This is just my first-best-guess of what my values might be. I believe these are things that guide my daily choices, sometimes consciously, sometimes less consciously. They might not be absolutely correctly defined and / or categorized, but I believe main thing at this point is to list them on the level possible and not get stuck with semantics. It’s always possible to reformulate them later if I learn to get to know myself better during this journey : )
After having identified these values, I continued the exercise by listing down activities that guide me either towards or against my values. As an end result of this exercise I ended up with the below map where above are my values and below are the topics I do today. I have also color-coded the arrows so that red indicate the ones that take me away from my values and green are the ones that take me closer to living up to my values.
I think this was fun map to build and as a result I have black-on-white showing me what I should keep doing and where I need to pay more attention in the future. Interesting, although not surprising, finding was the fact that some activities link to many different values, but the linkage is contradictory. For example my efforts on “hard work” are boosting two of my values, but then taking me away from the third value feeling well & energetic.
Next thing to do is to choose which of the activities from the “to be improved” side are the most important or urgent to me and thus something I should build in my next targets. I will try to avoid choosing all of them (as tempting as it would be). Based on research and both on my own experience, trying to change too many things at the same time usually just leads to big fat failure. So as in many other things in life, less is more.